Friday, August 15, 2014


       At Scott McLeod's blog, he posted a challenge for administrators to write a post to help celebrate Leadership Day 2014! You can check out his post here. He posed quite a few questions to kick start our thinking, and I've selected a few that helped me as I wrote. Rather than tell you, I'd like to show you some things I have found helpful and also to share other digital leaders who have inspired me. Here are a few of the questions Scott posed on his blog. I won't answer them directly but I think you'll get the idea!
  • What do effective P-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that would help them be better technology leaders? 
  • What are some other resources that would help them be better technology leaders?
Here is my list in no particular order...

1. Be a beginner. I love this video by Justin Timberlake. It's a great attitude to take when learning anything new!

2. Get on Twitter

Read this awesome post by Jo-Ann Fox if you are new to Twitter. It's the best PD ever!

3. Attend PD on your own, and not just technology PD either. Sit alongside your teachers and learn. Better yet, lead PD yourself! It's great to learn and connect with other educators all over. Here's the Google map I made of all of the places I've attended or led PD since last Fall.

Our new iPad PD- we took a photo walk!

3. Give teachers and students access to what they need. Yes, even the little kids. Yes YouTube. Yes Twitter and Skype! Read Kathy Cassidy’s blog post . Read her book. What she is doing with first graders will blow your mind. And you CAN do it.

4. Blog! Have a blog yourself - It's a great way to reflect and share your own learning. Here's my personal/professional blog. We also have a school blog. Better yet- have parents guest blog! Here's an example post by one of our guest blogger parents from last year during Autism Awareness Month. We also had Family blogging month and the kids took over the blog!

You can also use a blog to communicate with your staff - here's mine, inspired by Jessica Johnson, a principal I follow on Twitter! Star Academy Staff Stuff

5. Create a Facebook group for your school Visit to find out more. Not everyone is on FB but some are. You need to go where they are. Post at least 4 ways! Facebook is just one way I share what's happening in our school.

6. Use Remind! Free text messaging for students and parents is awesome and my families' favorite way to keep up to date.

7. Get Googly! Google Apps for Education changed my life. I will never forget the day I learned about it.

Check out this video to see the power of Google. Thanks, Lisa Highfill for sharing!

Use Google docs to collaborate about instructional planning- this doc was our dreams for adding new grade levels this year. We added ideas for almost a whole year!

Use a Google document to collaborate with other administrators- even far away!

Our first graders the first day the used their Chromebooks. We have Google accounts for all kids 1st grade and up

8. Lead by example Check out this post at - we're so inspired that our counselor is starting a Kind Kids Club at our school this year!

Our amazing counselor was inspired by a blog to create this wall

9. Help your teachers connect to the world! Check out this post by first grade blogger Kobe after our all-school Skype! Be sure to read the comments- by the author, left after the teacher tweeted out the link to the post!

Why should we be digital leaders as administrators and lead learners? Here's our Natomas Charter School uber goal that I think applies to every school.

What are you doing to be a digital leader in your school? I'd love to hear about it!

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